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Call me Al?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by 5intheface, May 7, 2005.

  1. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    Hey, I bet this question has been asked a thousand times and no one likes me here but whatever, I have a question.

    Who play bass with Paul Simon on Call me Al? More importantly, who does that solo? These Australian musicians called the Zarb Brothers played a concert with my school orchestra and during one of the rehearsals, they played this song for us.

    But before playing the song, they tlaked briefly about the bass solo and I think they mentioned that on the album version it was actually a keyboard. However I think they may be mistaken because it sounds like a slapped bass played in reverse. Either way, they played guitar and keyboards/hand drums, so they left that part out during thier performance.

    But I just downloaded the live and album version and was blown away by the bass solo. On the live it's even faster and you can tell it is actually a musician because the crowd goes nuts.

    So after that long-winded description that was probably worthless because I doubt anyone will respond anyway, anyone know of the bassist on either of those recordings?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    That would be Bakithi Kumalo. You're right about the album version; there's some kind of crazy editting going on with the solo. I believe he played two solos and they spliced them together with one in reverse or something. I'm sure someone will come along and clarify that.

    I have a live VHS of Graceland, and he also plays a really sweet solo during Boy in the Bubble.
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Bakithi Kamalo (sp?)

    [EDIT] Yeah, what LM said :)
  4. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I'd love to hear a live version of Call me Al, without studio trickery. I did the song with a Top 40 cover band and for the solo I played something that sounded remotely close. I really wish I'd had a fretless back then. As I didn't, everything else I played also only vaguely resembled the original recording. Cranking my mids all the way up sort of helped getting close to the original fretless mwah, though.
  5. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    Thank you so much for replying, and so quickly too.

    Anything that guy has done? I've never heard of him in my life.
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    it's a two bar slap solo on a fretless , where-by a reverse vortex is created
    using pulloffs , or it was studio trickery like someone said.
  7. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    To clarify: "Call Me Al" is the name of an album by Alain Caron. The Paul Simon song is called "You Can Call Me Al."

    The bassist's name is Bakithi Kumalo, although when the album came out he was spelling it Baghiti Khumalo.

    There are several live versions of "You Can Call Me Al."
    1. Graceland in concert (DVD/video) - Kumalo plays the solo on the fretless bass and I'm pretty sure it's not the same exact solo.
    2. Paul Simon's Concert in the Park (Live album) - the bassist is Armand Sabal-Lecco, on a fretted bass. He plays a completely different solo. I don't like this version at all.
    3. You're the One, in Concert (DVD/video) - Kumalo on bass again. This time he plays it on a fretted bass. He plays something similar to the album version.

    As for the backwards thing, the second half is the first half in reverse, although I'm not sure it's exactly at the halfway point of the solo.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I guess you now realize that it was NOT a synth on the album.
    Kumalo is also on Simon's followup to Graceland...Rhythm Of The Saints(w/ Armand Sabal-Lecco).
    I have one of Kumalo's solo discs, San Bonan(maybe his 1st solo disc?). Anyway, it's worth having...he has a Jaco-inspired piece on there that rips. IIRC, his website is www.boneinthenose.com
  9. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    Kumalo also played on Paul Simon's most recent album You're the One.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Also, if I can remember correctly from my Graceland video, he plays the solo twice, once during the usual spot in the middle and then at the end of the song (I believe it fades on the album recording).
  11. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    Yes. It fades out on the album, but the solo is played twice on every live version.

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